Holistic Dentistry: A different kind of dentistry
It’s 2021, and green is the new black – it seems like every industry is coming up with new and innovative ways to incorporate clean, green, organic, and holistic practices into how they work. So what does that mean for RDHs and the dental profession?
It means: holistic dentistry.
Holistic dentistry, or biological dentistry, looks at dental health in relation to a person’s overall health – and often includes clean products and practices.
Here’s the what, how, and why of holistic dentistry.
Holistic, or biological, dentists look for biocompatible materials when filling cavities. The industry standard is amalgam, or mercury – but many such dentists opt for materials that are considered safer for the body, often running biocompatibility tests to discover what is best for each (bio)individual patient.
Because amalgam has been the go-to for so long, most patients that come in with fillings come in with mercury fillings – holistic dentists advocate for their safe removal, and then restoring the tooth with composite resin or porcelain (they’re white, so they don’t stand out as much as those old-school silver ones!).
By the way, holistic dentistry is also staunchly anti-root canal. Instead, the industry favors ceramic, zirconia implants.
Holistic dentistry has a lot of names: biological, biocompatible, natural, preventive – or the one word that seems to capture it all – alternative.
This kind of dentistry offers several alternative therapies, taking the place of standard practices like those pesky root canals – and ozone therapy is one of the most popular and effective. Ozone can be used to address tooth decay, preventing small cavities from developing further; its antibacterial properties can help tackle tooth sensitivity and gum disease; it may even be useful in healing sinus infections!
As always, there are pros and cons to every practice – but it’s important to be prepared and have that knowledge when working as a temp with different kinds of dentists.
Clean products for clean teeth
If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that clean teeth should be clean. That’s why holistic dentists advocate for non-toxic products in their work, and for their patients’ use at home.
Of course, there is the ever-controversial use of fluoride – many biological dentists use fluoride-free products, and hydroxyapatite has become a popular option. They also advocate for better nutritional choices, which can have a huge impact on dental health (which is why oral supplements are favored, too).
The bottom line: holistic dentistry is about preventing poor dental hygiene, and then addressing any problems in the most natural, least invasive way possible. And bonus: many holistic practices incorporate other alternative therapies, like aromatherapy and halo therapy – so going to the dentist might even become a relaxing experience for your patients, making your job a more relaxing experience for you!
Holistic dentists look at the complete picture – how dental health affects overall health, and vice versa. Having the knowledge of a different kind of dentistry will keep you well-prepared when searching for your next temp job – you’ll be the whole package!
Read more fun facts, expert advice, and dental industry news on the Biteline blog.
And don’t forget to share with your dental friends!